This past weekend, I met up with a friend in Berkeley. We got dinner at The Cheeseboard Collective, arguably the best and most well known pizza place in town, commiserating about how we didn't want to return to suburban Palo Alto after spending the summer in the beautiful city of Berkeley, and wandered around downtown window shopping. Given that both of us were writers, it wasn't surprisingly when we ended up in Books Inc, an independent bookstore in the north part of the city.
We walked around, laughing and rolling our eyes as we encountered yet another book published by one of our professors at Stanford. Every once in a while, we would encounter a book that was published by Heyday, the publishing house I'm interning for, and we would pull it out of the shelf and inspect it with awe. I may not have written the book, but it was still exhilarating to know I had somehow, in some way, participated in the making of the bound collection of pages in my hands. I've gotten into a habit of stopping at bookstores on my daily walk home and looking around to see what books I can find with the small acorn dotted Heyday logo on the back cover.
Working as a Marketing and Publishing intern, I'm not directly involved in the making or construction of the books. My job comes after the books are nearly finished, when the first proof (an almost finished version of the book that's sent to editors and reviewers) comes into the office and everyone drops whatever they're working on to crowd around and admire our latest collective creation. In a nutshell, my job is to get potential readers and buyers as excited about our latest release as I get.
Marketing is a strange animal, since it involves tailoring tactics to whatever audience we're trying to reach. My job ranges from doing sales analytics and insights for Facebook ad campaigns to ensure we reach the widest audience possible, to mailing out handwritten promotional postcards of our latest release to loyal readers.
I wanted to try working in publishing this summer for a number of reasons, but primarily because I love language and I love the power it has to move people. While my day-to-day tasks don't involve much work with the language of the books themselves, I get to work on the other side of things, showing readers and potential book buyers why exactly they should get excited about “The California Field Atlas” or “How A Mountain Was Made.” Speaking of which, are you interested in a collection of hand-painted maps of Californian nature, or a book of Native American short stories? If so, check those titles out.
Read more at the Out West Student Blog »